Why creative engagement? What drew you to the opportunity?
I have been managing a family business for the past fifteen years, as it was easy to do when my kids were younger. Now that my youngest son is in college, I have time to pursue additional work. I knew that I wanted to do something where I could connect with people and not look at a computer screen!
Before my youngest was born, I was a labor doula and worked in women’s healthcare. I loved that work. Caring for and supporting people at the other end of life’s journey just feels like a natural transition. I find many skills that overlap here.
What’s your favorite part of your job? What “imbues you with enthusiasm” for your work?
When I find something that brings a smile to my client’s face. One of my clients gets a great deal of joy seeing animals and children. I take her to the park and her face just lights up with a huge smile when she sees the kids running around or gets to pet a friendly dog.
Another client loves to play scrabble. It is fantastic to sit with her for a few hours, playing the game and listening to her life stories. I also sing to one of my clients. She takes a nap in the late afternoon and I have started singing as she is falling off to sleep. She gets a serene look on her face and sometimes moves her hand in time to the song. I am glad to be able to provide some joy and comfort for her.
How has working at Aging Wisdom and working with older adults changed your life? What would you say to encourage someone who is considering applying for the Creative Engagement Specialist position with us?
Working with Aging Wisdom has helped me to grow! I enjoyed the Health Care Assistant training and see that the skills I have been learning are giving me the confidence to work with older adults. Before doing this work, I was a bit mystified about how to engage someone who is older, aging and occasionally in need of support with activities of daily living.
Now I feel much more secure in being able to do these things. I have been learning that there are many ways to enjoy life and make connections with people and that a compassionate listening ear goes a long way in improving someone’s day.
Someone thinking of doing this work should know that it can be challenging sometimes and also very rewarding! It gives you an opportunity to practice being in the moment, which is the best place to be in my humble opinion. You definitely have to be willing to go with the flow!
You learn to slow down and follow the pace of your client and if you listen, perhaps receive a pearl of wisdom.
As my parents are entering their later years, I feel that the work I am doing, and the valuable skills I am learning are potentially going to come in handy.